Human African trypanosomiasis: connecting parasite and host genetics.Trends Parasitol. 2006 Sep; 22(9):405-9.TP
In West and Central Africa, the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei (T. b.) gambiense causes a chronic form of Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) that might last several years, whereas T. b. rhodesiense refers to an acute form in East Africa that lasts weeks to months. Without treatment, both forms can cause death. Diagnosis relies on detecting parasites in blood, lymph or cerebrospinal fluid. HAT was no longer considered a public health problem in the 1960s, but it returned to alarming levels in the 1990s. After intensifying case detection and treatment, WHO recently declared the situation is under control. However, research based on host and trypanosome interactions should be encouraged to help develop innovative tools for HAT diagnosis and treatment to prevent re-emergence.